1. A cosy cafe with a coffee and a friend (or two), or maybe just with a bloody good book
2. Between warm sheets in bed when I realise that I don’t have to get up yet and can savour another hour before facing the day
3. Deep in the Waitakeres discovering Waterfalls and exploring hidden tracks
4. Old bookshops with musty smells and grumpy owners (and health and safety hazards)
5. On the street walking through places I’ve never seen before (probably getting lost but I’ll deal with that later)
6. By the ocean with sand between my toes and a book in my hands
7. At home by myself with a list of tasks to complete and no one to distract me
8. At the movies with a hand to hold, popcorn to snack on and a movie on the big screen
9. On the floor playing with Merlin, gaining wounds on my arms, and spotting all the places I’ve forgotten to vacuum
10. In the country where the City is just a hazy memory and deadlines are non-existent
11. A quiet supermarket where I can browse slowly and discover new products (whilst sampling the grapes to make sure they taste okay..)
12. In the car with music playing loud enough to drown out my singing and no where to go in a hurry
13. With my brothers listening to them and their amazing view of the world, remembering how lucky I am to be part of such an incredible family
14. In the kitchen with fresh ingredients, a made-up recipe and eager mouths to feed
15. With family at a big barbecue full of laughter, food and love
16. On the couch with a cup of fresh tea and a brand new magazine to leaf through
17. At local restaurants where the menu is known by heart, the service is friendly (but not too friendly) and the food is always perfect
18. Up Mt Eden with Auckland laid out before me and the sun warming our skin
19. With friends, where ever that may be, sharing our thoughts and laughing til we hurt
20. Eating bagels on our little deck at our little blue table with the sun shining down and hot coffee to the side
I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. During a time of so much pain and sorrow, sometimes happiness can be a struggle to cling to. And yet cling to it I do.
Something I find really useful is putting more time into recognizing what makes me happy. Where do I feel happy? Who helps me be a happier person? Doing that has made it easier to prioritize what and who I want to put my energy into.
I can’t even put into words how grateful I am that I am in a place where happiness can be a concern. Where my biggest issue of the day is how I will drink enough caffeine whilst not leaving my desk. Where my struggle is how to not snack on every sugary thing in sight. Where the people who surround me are all happy and healthy themselves.
No more than now do I get that reality shock, and that reminder to never take my life for granted. So this list of happy places is a perfect way for me to recognize some of the things that I am lucky enough to experience on a frequent basis.
Where are your happy places?